Addressing the media at the release of RBI’s Annual Report on 2016-17, Jaitley elaborated on the major “objectives” of the demonetisation move that was introduced in November 2016.
“Object of demonetisation was that India is predominantly high cash economy therefore that scenario requires to be significantly altered,” he said. He also added that the integration of the formal economy with the informal economy was also one of the objectives.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Congress hit out at the NDA government and at the central bank for the note-ban move. Citing the RBI report, former finance minister P Chidambaram said, “RBI ‘gained’ Rs 16000 crore, but ‘lost’ Rs 21000 crore in printing new notes! The economists deserve Nobel Prize”.
Jaitley hit out at the Congress and other critics by saying that post demonetisation, evidence of cash squeeze was visible in both Chattisgarh and Kashmir. Reiterating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s words from November 8, 2016, he said that the aim of demonetisation was to curb black money and rise of terrorism using counterfeit money.
Stressing on the benefits of demonetisation, he said that it was obvious that the direct tax base has expanded substantially after the move.